Around Easter, Cecil DeMille’s Ten Commandments is usually shown on TV. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. I realize there is a little embellishment going on in the script of course. From what I can tell, the first 2 hours of the movie cover about 20 verses from the Bible.
What I’m mostly interested in are just a few lines, spoken by Moses to Zipporah:
“If this god is God, he would live on every mountain, in every valley. He would not be only the god of Israel or Ishmael alone, but of all men. It is said he created all men in his image. Then he would dwell in every heart in every mind, in every soul.”
I cannot find anything in the corresponding bible verses that comes anywhere close to this. (End of Exodus 2 beginning of Exodus 3…)
Am I right in saying that this speech is a contrivance of the movie studio and nothing more?
The OT is pretty henotheistic (i.e. by and for the Jewish people). The OT God would have endorsed the conquest of the rest of the world, by the Jews, but otherwise there’s no indication that he has any interest in spreading his influence outside the realm of his chosen people.
Yes, it’s Christian. I don’t see the line as being at all philosophical; just a bit of religious chauvinism from C.B. DeMille. I think you’re taking the movie too seriously. It’s not exactly a work of religious scholarship.
This is a fairly common trope in biblical movies. The lead actor in the film often does the voice-overs for the voice of the Almighty. There is a passage in Job that says that the voice of God is not some thunderstorm or whirlwind, but the quiet voice whispering in your heart and your conscience.
Haven’t heard the word “henotheistic” uttered in awhile, but this.
AFAICT, the Hebrews were about the least universalist group going. It was the Hebrew way or the highway, and there were lots of losers, few winners, along the way.
As reflected in the thread on Mel Gibson and the Masada movie story, there is a Gentile temptation to retrofit things so that the Hebrew world anticipates/fits into the Greek/post-Christ world, but the better take seems to be that there was a somewhat abrupt break between the Hebrew and the post-Hellene Christian world.
Meh, it’s both. A Christian can walk into a Synagogue and still find more similarities than he can shake a stick at. And from then to now so many things sre still very similar. But culturally, in the wider sense, yeah. You might even say Chruistianity became Christianity because Judaism didn’t.
Not that green mist was the best option, but you have to show something, right?
I think the verse is: “And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt.”
He had to punch it up a little bit.
It’s more complicated than that. Around the time of Jesus, there were already at least three disparate “sects” of Judaism – the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. The split pre-dates Jesus, and, of course, Christianity comes much later, springing from that environment. Modern-day Judaism is basically Pharisaic in philosophical underpinings.
The split between Judaism and Christianity was abrupt in one way, but was evolutionary and slow-changing in most ways. The biggest and most abrupt divergence was when Paul abrogated Jewish ritual law. Underlying philosophy, however, did and still does have lots of points of overlap. Christianity was not a “brand new” religion born from the dust, it was an evolution from Judaism. Subsequent developments between the two religions have been often interrelated, as both religions had to deal with developing science and international communication, etc.
However, the quote that starts this thread is the belief that God is universal rather than simply a local, regional deity of one people. The history of that belief is interesting. Certainly at the time of Moses, and the writing of most of the Old Testament books, God is portrayed as pretty much local. (Quick example: In the book of Exodus, He speaks of defeating the “gods of Egypt.” We now interpret that phrase as meaning “the things that the Egyptians worshipped as gods” but the plain meaning of the text is that those gods existed and were bested by the Hebrew God.)
During the Babylonian Exile (about 586 - 540 BC), the Jews were exiled from Israel. Their religious beliefs needed to expand, so that God could be present in Babylon, and so the later prophets speak of God as universalistic, the God of all peoples everywhere. So, it’s a mistake to say that the Hebrew Bible doesn’t depict God as universal; the Pentateuch doesn’t, nor do the early prophets, but the later prophets (beginning historically with Jeremiah) do.